Monday, January 21, 2019

Elder Gerrit W. Gong on following the Savior's example of compassion and kindness

Elder Gerrit W. Gong (born December 23, 1953) was called as a Seventy in April 2010, then to the Presidency of the Seventy in October 2015. He was sustained to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in April 2018.
"Many of our Savior’s miracles begin with His understanding and compassion. He knows our hearts and circumstances. He is filled with compassion for our hopes and our hurts, our desires and our needs....
"Through His ministry our Savior is moved by compassion—compassion for the leper (Mark 1:41), compassion for the man’s son possessed with a foul spirit (Mark 9:22), compassion for a widowed mother whose only son has died (Luke 7:13). Our Savior teaches us to be like the good Samaritan who had compassion on the man wounded and left for dead (Luke 10:33).
"Likewise, the father of the prodigal son had compassion and ran to his son when his son 'was yet a great way off' (Luke 15:20). Interestingly, speaking of bread, when the prodigal son 'came to himself,' his realization is 'How many hired servants of my father have bread enough and to spare' (Luke 15:17).
"Our Savior begins with compassion. He concludes with gracious kindness.
"The gospel accounts say that after Jesus fed the multitude, He 'sent them away.' But the footnote in Mark clarifies. Instead of He 'sent them away,' the footnote says He 'bid the people farewell' (Mark 6:45; see Mark 6:46, footnote a). Can’t you hear Jesus compassionately bidding the people farewell as they leave after He has fed them?"
- Gerrit W. Gong, "And Jesus Said unto Them: I Am the Bread of Life," address to CES Religious Educators, Feb. 17, 2017
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

There is so much to be learned by studying the attributes and personality of the Savior. Elder Gong focuses on His understanding, compassion, and gracious kindness. As our hearts are filled with compassion, our very lives are changed and our behavior is deeply influenced.

Compassion results in gracious kindness. How desperately we need those gifts in our world today!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2019)

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